How long has it been since the CG trailer was born? I can point to Blizzard revolutionizing the idea with its Warcraft III trailers back around the turn of the millennium. How long has it been since the CG trailer lost its meaning? Gamers finally caught on that deciding to buy a fun game means actually looking at the real game and not generated images doing things you’ll never hope to do while playing.
One too many foul purchases killed my trust in CG trailers a long time ago.
That being said, it hasn’t stopped publishers from dropping millions into making impressive cutscenes to sell a product, and as of late, Bethesda has become something of a genius. Its latest trailer for The Elder Scrolls Online might not have a shred of gameplay, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be exciting to watch.
The mundane battles of Tamriel no longer hold any kind of meaning. Warring clans, kingdoms, long standing grudges are all microscopic next to the new threat its population faces. Chains rain from the cloudy heavens and dark knights emerge to just randomly slaughter anybody in their way. Foes who exchanged blows not five minutes earlier must now depend on each other to live.
It’s a setup we’ve seen many times before in the genre, and I think it has played out exactly the same in some trailers. Bethesda has the benefit of a deep lore and background to ground this trailer in a bit more emotion, though. We’ve played in Tamriel for hours on end, and the time has come to defend it.
How long will it be before CG trailers stop being impressive? The Elder Scrolls Online will be released for PC and Mac on April 4, and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are expected in June.